Man’s First Step on the Moon

Man’s First Step on the Moon

Norman Rockwell
Oil on canvas

Norman Rockwell’s images of wholesome, small-town America were widely popular during and after World War II. In 1966 Look magazine commissioned Rockwell to paint several works marking the imminent landing of humans on the Moon.

Rockwell recruited experienced space artist Pierre Mion to help him. Mion worked on the painting’s color, drew the antennae atop the module, repainted the stars, and painted the spacecraft interior as seen through the windows. Because NASA regularly changed details about the lunar module’s appearance, this painting does not include the distinctive gold Mylar wrapping used to reflect or absorb the Sun’s heat.

The resulting work—a collaboration published under Rockwell’s signature—anticipates Neil Armstrong’s first step off the Eagle.

Gift of Norman Rockwell

Image Number: NASM2014-06834
Credit: Image by Eric Long, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution
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